Microsoft Lays Off around 1,000 Employees, including Xbox Staff

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Microsoft has laid off a significant number of its workers, according to sources with Business Insider, which reported today about how “under 1,000 employees” have been quietly let go in teams across the company. Those teams include the Xbox division and the Microsoft Strategic Missions and Technology organization, a group that has been described as cutting-edge by the publication. An email from Zach Kramer would also suggest that Microsoft’s Mission Engineering team is affected, alongside Studio Alpha, a war-gaming simulation team, being on the chopping block.

“Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead.”

“This is hard to do,” reads an email from Zach Kramer, who runs Microsoft’s Mission Engineering team. “There are lots of ideas that could potentially have an impact and each of us has worked very hard, but we must make tradeoffs as resources are not unlimited and time is the scarcest of them all.”

From a Business Insider report (alternate link):

The cuts appears widespread across the company: conversations with people close to the company and posts on social media sites like Blind and Twitter indicate that the cuts affected everything from the Xbox console gaming division to the cutting-edge Microsoft Strategic Missions and Technology organization. KC Lemson, a longtime Microsoft veteran and a product manager in the office of the Chief Technology Officer, tweeted on Monday night that she lost her job earlier in the day.

Microsoft in July said it planned to lay off less than 1% of its 180,000-person workforce and significantly slowed hiring as the risk of a recession looms. It’s unclear whether this week’s layoffs are included in the previous figure, but one person who told Insider they have been laid off said they were first hired about a month ago.

Kramer’s email did not explicitly mention layoffs, but said leaders will work with those who are “part of a prioritization change” in order to “wrap up existing work and determine next steps.” Teams on the chopping block appear to include Studio Alpha, which Microsoft once referred to as its “serious gaming initiative” for war-gaming simulations, and the Mission Expansion cloud government team, according to one insider.

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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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